It is Make-a-Will Week!
March 31 to April 6, 2014, is Make-a-Will Week in British Columbia. Its purpose is to encourage the public to write their Will or bring an existing Will up-to-date. Only 55% of British Columbians have a signed, legally valid and up to date Will.
What is a Will?A Will is your formal expression of your last wishes respecting your estate, comprising your assets, liabilities and obligations. It is the best way to ensure that your intended beneficiaries receive the benefit of your estate. If you die without a Will, your estate may not be distributed in the way you would have wished and the costs of administering your estate may also be higher.
Make-a-Will Week 2014 coincides with the Wills, Estates and Succession Act (WESA) coming into force on March 31, 2014. WESA has combined seven separate pieces of legislation into one Act, provides greater certainty for individuals who put their last wishes into writing, and clarifies the process for distributing estates where there is no Will.
The new act also:
- Helps the courts ensure a deceased person’s last wishes are respected
- Lowers the age at which a person can make a Will to 16
- Allows the court to make additional considerations to give effect to a person’s written wishes
WESA does not invalidate Wills written before its coming into force. However, some of the laws about interpreting Wills have changed, so individuals may wish to review their existing Will with a lawyer to ensure their last wishes can still be carried out.
What is the Cost?
The cost to have a Will prepared or your existing estate documents reviewed depends on the complexity of your situation. A lawyer can help you to understand the wide range of issues that arise with the preparation of estate planning documents. If you would like advice or for more information regarding such matters please contact Chahal Priddle LLP at 250-372-3233 to set up an appointment today.